Right Coast Dispatch No. 4
Though this is my first road-trip with Grain, I have already heard what at first seemed an unlikely claim: that the surfers (and non-surfers) that sign up for our workshops regularly report they've had a "life-changing" experience. But by now, I can see how it's possible... as I've watched our students faces and seen their pride at building something beautiful and functional with their own hands, it's obvious that they've shared with us a meaningful experience that's frankly hard to come by in our modern world.
Further proof is that Nolan and I have also gained something indescribable from our experience on the road. The momentum and confirmation our students gain from building wooden surfboards is at once palpable and immeasurably rewarding to be a part of. Being present to observe this growing confirmation in our students - one which proves to them that they can in fact do what they never imagined - comes from some sensory level that kicks in when people focus wholly on engaging in a start-to-finish, hands-on experience.
Also rewarding was our time at Real Watersports. Their facility proved to be a great venue and base camp for our stay in the Outer Banks... and since Hatteras' thin strip of coastline sits with the Pamlico Sound on one side and the Atlantic on the other, every moment offered a chance to either observe or participate in some form of water sport. As a result - and thanks to a fortuitous swell that lingered - we stayed wet most of the time we were in the land of shipwrecks and pirates. Not surprisingly, we also had a chance to break out every one of the boards we've been carrying up and down the coast, so people had a great chance to really test out our quiver.
Dispatch Number Four: What you Get & Getting Wet
A few days later, we got a chance to re-connect with some Grain alumni in the Virginia Beach area who had come up to Maine in 2012 as part of a father-and-son board building class. This time, we set up right in their backyard and half of the original crew came out to shape their own hand planes and to reminisce about their first Grain experience - another great reminder to us of how lucky we are to be sharing this with them.
For ourselves, we're working our hardest to preserve this "Endless Spring" feeling as we motor north, watching the trees explode with green and subtracting miles from what's become a micro-lifestyle of travel and experience. Now on the down-hill side of the Right Coast Roadtrip, we comfort ourselves by looking forward to our last few events in New Jersey and New York City as we get closer and closer to home.
Matt Entwistle and Nolan Collins will be reporting from the road until their return sometime before summer. Matt's going to be sending more dispatches which we'll post here in the blog... but for a daily dose, keep up with their progress on Facebook and Instagram.
"A man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body."
- William Morris